The year 2016 will be noted in the annals of history as a watershed year in South African higher education. The calls by South African students for decolonised education have been emphatically professed, loud and clear. This call will be addressed at the 14th National Design Education Conference of the Design Education Forum of Southern Africa (DEFSA), hosted by the Tshwane University of Technology’s Faculty of the Arts and Inscape Education Group from 27-29 September 2017 at Freedom Park, City of Tshwane.
With the 2017 #Decolonise! Conference, design educators are provided with the opportunity to reflect on, and critically interrogate the notion of decolonisation in relation to design education with the aim of transforming existing practices – asking questions on Who, What, Where, When and How? Examples of questions which require our urgent attention include: What is our understanding of the call for decolonised education? How do our curricula and pedagogical approaches stand up to this call? What values, assumptions and truths underlie our discipline? To what extent do we incorporate the context and knowledge of the South, and more specifically of Africa into our discipline? How do we bring practitioners of design into the conversation? How are we contributing textbooks and learning resources to this project? What do our students have to say on these issues?
Through strategic partnerships with Freedom Park, and its Department of Heritage and Knowledge, and the City of Tshwane, DEFSA invites all role-players in design to submit academic papers that will contribute to this discourse.
For the full call for papers and submission criteria, please visit www.defsa.org.za or contact Sandra de Beer at 012 382 6133.
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